All square as United dominate
It was honours even at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon as Carlisle created chances without quite managing to deliver the killer blow their overall play deserved.
United looked up for the challenge and Lee Miller caught the Boro back line out with a neat back heel which left Berrett in space. He let one fly from 25 yards and Day had to stretch to tip it away.
The set piece was dangerous and Danny Redmond hung deep as it flew past everyone to the edge of the area. The nippy midfielder twisted away from his marker and was a whisker away with a curler from the outside of his boot.
It was all United and a long ball forward from Potts bounced high with Ashton out of position. Byrne raced through with it and it needed a sliding tackle from Charles to prevent the front man from having a go.
Stevenage struggled to deal with a string of accurate corners and Freeman was in the right place at the right time to stop an Amoo header as he tried to squeeze it through bodies.
All eyes were on the referee just before the quarter hour when a heavy touch from Charles took him over the top of the ball and into Pearson. The crowd called for a red and there was consternation in the dug out when the yellow was eventually displayed.
The visitors started to edge into the game and pace from Obeng took him into the box. His cut back found Zoko but Chimbonda moved across to make the block. Doughty picked up the loose pieces but his volley was wild and high and over the bar.
Striker Sam Byrne created something from nothing when he took the ball on his thigh and his turn left Ashton chasing a shadow as he shot low for the bottom corner. Day had to scramble and dive to get it away. The first corner from Berrett was cleared at the front stick and he brought another save from Day as he tried to find a way through.
Good movement from a quick throw created another opening for United as Berrett played Chantler on the overlap. The left back went for the early shot and was unlucky to see it bend just past the target.
An awkward high ball in midfield left Doughty on his own just outside the centre circle and he took advantage of the bobbles to put his boot through the ball. Pickford watched comfortably as it flew over his bar.
There was panic at the other end when a loose pass from Miller allowed Zoko to nick the ball. Chimbonda won it back but he hesitated and the Stevenage front man stole in again to turn the momentum back in favour of the visitors. Akins ran into the area but the through ball had just too much and it ran harmlessly past for a goal kick.
Another excellent Berrett set piece almost brought the opening goal of the day when he picked Lee Miller out on the edge of the six yard box. His header had Day beaten but it dropped just wide of the upright with the blue shirts set to celebrate.
Carlisle closed the half on top and a flowing move involving Redmond, Byrne and Amoo left Potts with a chance to shoot as Boro looked ragged. He was caught in two minds and his attempted pass, as Miller called for it, was easily cut out.
Boro started the second half on the front foot and a free kick from Doughty had to be punched behind by Pickford. Zoko was there for an elaborate corner routine and he kept hold of it to allow Freeman to take over. His cross was cleared by Chimbonda and Carlisle did well to cover the loose pieces as Zoko and Akins waited in anticipation.
The Brunton Park injury jinx struck again on 49 minutes when Chimbonda limped from the field to be replaced by Meppen-Walter. Carlisle regrouped and a long ball from the back from Brown was flicked on by Miller on the penalty spot. Day stepped back and plucked it from beneath his bar.
Another flick from Miller put Byrne into the box but Mousinho was tight and he did enough to stop the striker from completing a shot.
United had a sustained period of pressure on the hour mark with Byrne, Berrett and Potts all working hard inside the area. It eventually ran for Amoo and he fizzed a shot from the angle into the side netting.
Stevenage turned defence into attack with a huge ball forward as Zoko beat Brown to the bounce. His low cross was perfect for the late arrival of Akins and it needed a superb intervention from Meppen-Walter to stop what would have been a certain goal.
The action switched quickly and a direct run from Potts brought uncertainty to the Boro back line. Miller raced in from the angle and his powerful drive had to be saved acrobatically by the well positioned stopper. Berrett found another teasing corner delivery and a header from Meppen-Walter was screaming for a touch. Day dropped down gratefully as the blue shirts were caught on their heels.
Day pumped the ball forward and Freeman jinked in from the right to find Doughty in space. He crashed an early volley goalward but Pickford was there to grasp it.
Meppen-Walter then won another deep Berrett corner but it skipped up off the surface as it headed for the top corner. Miller tried to change the angle with the slightest of touches but succeeded only in diverting it over the bar.
Dave Symington forced a diving save from the busy Chris Day when he struck a beauty from distance as Carlisle threw men forward but Stevenage defended in numbers and held onto their point as things became even tighter in the bottom reaches of the League One table.
United - Potts (81)
Stevenage - Charles (14)
Carlisle United - Pickford, Pearson, Chimbonda (Meppen-Walter 49), Brown, Chantler, Berrett, Potts, Redmond (Symington 74), Amoo, Miller, Byrne. Subs - Fleming, Lynch, Brough, Guy, Novo.
Stevenage - Day, Dembele, Ashton (Wedgbury 46), Mousinho, Charles, Akins, Zoko, Freeman (Burrow 90), Smith, Obeng, Doughty (Morais 90). Subs - Arnold, Parrett, Reid, Hartley.
Referee - Mr James Adcock
Attendance - 3,672 (97 away fans)